Sex offender jailed five months for pool touching

In bygone days a man who molested young children may well have been tared and feathered, a judge told an Edson man who grabbed four young children swimming at a Red Deer pool.

In bygone days a man who molested young children may well have been tared and feathered, a judge told an Edson man who grabbed four young children swimming at a Red Deer pool.

Jamie Aaron Harasym, 32, was sentenced to five months in jail Friday but not before Red Deer provincial court Judge Jim Mitchell issued a stern denunciation of his actions.

Harasym pleaded guilty last week to four counts of sexual interference but sentencing was adjourned.

“In days gone by you would have been tarred and feathered and hung upside down to rot,” Mitchell said.

Crown prosecutor Wayne Silliker said the accused grabbed the youngsters under the water at the outdoor Recreation Centre pool and hot tub on June 27.

Red Deer City RCMP responded to a 911 call to the outdoor pool complaining that four children had been inappropriately touched by an adult male while swimming around 5:30 p.m.

The male was not known to any of the children, who ranged from seven to 13 years of age. Three of the children were female and one was male.

Police arrested the accused without incident.

Mitchell said the court can only do so much when sentencing in such situations.

He said the court and the public is “very nervous” with this type of crime.

“It alarms parents and frightens children,” Mitchell said. “No sentence can restore the sense of security that these kids once had at this swimming pool.”

Silliker said the parents of two of the victims said they would never swim at the pool again.

The judge acknowledged that a pre-sentence report indicated Harasym has many challenges “some of which were not of his own creation.”

Defence lawyer Pat Penny said his client was unemployed and has several issues.

Harasym was credited with 68 days in pre-sentence custody so has 82 days left to serve.

He was also placed on three years of probation and his name is entered on a Canada-wide sex offender registry for 20 years.

Four counts of sexual assault were withdrawn.

The sentencing agreement and agreement of facts were worked out between Silliker and Penny but Mitchell extended the probation request by one year to three.

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